If you want a story about how I managed through my struggles and overcame challenges in my 20s and become a totally different person in such a short time. This is probably not the story for you. This is a story about how you should let yourself grow and more importantly be kinder to yourself and trust the process.
I haven’t figured everything out. I don’t know what to do with my life and how it is going to be in the future. Whenever I open Linkedin and see what people my age have achieved it makes me feel bad about myself and start wondering “How can they do it but I can’t?” That’s the question that would pop up whenever I see people achieve something I couldn’t. There’s a crazy expectation for people in their 20s to have it all figured out as early as possible. We were teenagers not long ago and now we are forced to be ready as an adult. We let kids be kids, and teenagers be teenagers but why can’t people in their 20s do the same? Why must we know everything about everything there is to know when we enter our 20s? We are still transitioning into adulthood.
Before I was even the age of 20, I was already scared of not having everything figured out by then. When I was 18 I finally entered university. I’m not a high school student anymore, and that is scary to me. I thought by the time I graduated high school I already achieved all of the goals that I set for myself. I didn’t. When I officially entered university, I thought there wouldn’t be much of a difference. I was wrong. Everything that I knew about school and my expectations of what university was going to be like did not meet any of that. But this is not a story of how different high school and university are going to be because we all knew that already. So while being confused in this new environment, I see it as a challenge. During the orientation week, I stumbled upon an organization with a weird name that is AIESEC. I never heard of it before so I was intrigued and fast forward, I got accepted and became a member. During my time here as a member, I feel bad about myself because I keep comparing myself to others that have achieved more than me. Most of them have impressive resumes and amazing portfolios under their belt.
I felt like an impostor here and felt that I didn’t belong. Then one day I had a conversation with my friend from AIESEC about how I’m jealous of their past achievements and wish I could be more like them. Do you know what they said? “I literally thought the same of you”. Then it struck me that other people are feeling the same way as me. I wasn’t alone. The more and more I have honest conversations with people about feeling lost in this stage of life, the more and more I understand that not everything has to be figured out by now, we have time. Still, it’s about how we can use the time to achieve our goals but not beat ourselves up too much for it.
In AIESEC there’s always a huge emphasis on having a growth mindset and always asking yourself questions. I’d be honest I thought it was all just mumbo jumbo until give more thought to it. A growth mindset is about how every struggle and problem you may find, with enough determination and discipline you can let it not consume you and overcome it. A growth mindset is about seeing the world with a more positive outlook. With a growth mindset, I’m able to see that I don’t have to compare myself to motivate myself to do better but let it be myself that motivates me to be better. Well, I’m obviously still comparing myself to other people but at least now I’m aware that everything is a process and everyone moves with different paces in life and that is okay.
Allowing yourself to grow without the constant pressure of having an end goal will take you to much better places. You don’t need a finish line, you can just keep moving forward. AIESEC has helped me with my fear and confusion as someone entering their 20’s. Why don’t you give yourself a try and become an AIESECer yourself?
Register Yourself now on aiesec.or.id/join-aiesec